Thursday, November 18, 2010

Royal swashbuckler

I admit, I am a sucker for a good story about the royals. The happy news of Prince William and lovely Kate Middleton this week got me thinking about Queen Christina, the Swedish cross-dressing lesbian who ruled Sweden in the 17th century. At birth, she was mistaken for a boy because she was covered in hair and cried in a strong, hoarse voice. She was consistently described as masculine, and she preferred men's clothes. Sound like anyone you know? She was also quite skilled as a horseman and at other traditionally male pursuits. Her father, King Gustavus Adolphus, was struck by his daughter's bright intelligence—which, in that era, was not considered a female attribute—and ordered that she be raised as a prince to become the future monarch. She never married. When she abdicated the throne in 1654, she shed her regalia, left the country, and rode as a man on horseback through Denmark. Don't you just love a swashbuckling dyke?

Greta Garbo, another queer Swede, played Queen Christina in the 1933 motion picture. The film did not accurately portray Christina's life—which was extraordinarily eventful—but did offer sexy tomboy Garbo kissing another woman on screen.

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